RALEIGH, N.C. – The fourth-ranked NC State baseball team completed the series sweep against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons with a 10-6 win Sunday afternoon on Senior Day at Doak Field at Dail Park. The Wolfpack has won eight consecutive games to record its fourth weekend sweep of the season and second in ACC play.
NC State gained control of the game with six unanswered runs after trailing 5-4 heading to the bottom of the sixth. The Pack scored three in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull ahead and secure the win.
The Wolfpack moves to 39-12 on the year and 18-9 in ACC play, while Wake Forest falls to 22-29 and 11-16 in conference action. Redshirt freshman Connor Centala earned his first collegiate win in the contest with an inning of shutout relief, while Wake’s Tyler Witt was hit with the loss.
Kent Klyman threw the final three innings for the Pack and registered his fourth save.
“I’m just really proud of our guys,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “They’ve gone through a lot; this season has been tough. It’s a tough transition from two intense night games with great crowds to a day game. Today felt like New Mexico to me, I do not know what it felt like to them.
“We just got behind again and I’m really proud of their effort. We were thin in pitching and I thought Centala [Connor] came in and pitched a really good inning for us. I just think we’re playing very well right now.”
On completing the sweep on Senior Day…
“Senior Day is special and everybody talks about that. It is about Senior Day, but it’s also about winning and getting better. If it hadn’t had been Senior Day, it would have been just as big but I’m sure looking back on it they will remember this win on Senior Day.”
– NC State struck early in the contest, as a double from Brett Kinneman in the bottom of the first pushed across the first runs of the game as the Wolfpack took a 2-0 lead.
– Wake Forest countered with a pair of runs in the top of the second to knot the score at two apiece after an RBI groundout and an RBI single.
– Evan Edwards led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk and scored on a double to left center by Stephen Pitarra, as the Wolfpack answered quickly to regain the lead 3-2.
– The Demon Deacons pulled ahead, 5-3, with three runs in the third following a wild pitch and a two-run homer from Cole McNamee.
– Will Wilson started the bottom of the frame with a double to right center and scored on an RBI groundout from Kinneman to narrow the margin to 5-4.
– After both teams were held scoreless in the fourth and fifth, Josh McLain hit a two-RBI triple to left center to give NC State a 6-5 lead after Devonte Brown and J.T. Jarrett walked and singled earlier in the frame.
– Wilson followed with a single through the left side to score McLain, as the Wolfpack scored all three runs in the frame with two outs.
– Edwards scored the eighth run of the game for NC State on a safety squeeze from Jarrett, as he was called out initially but was ruled safe after review.
– McLain’s sacrifice fly extended the Pack’s advantage to 9-5 with Brown scoring from third.
– Patrick Bailey walked and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches to push across the 10thrun of the day for NC State.
– Wake Forest got a run back in the ninth on a solo homer from Michael Ludowig, but Klyman rebounded to retire the next three batters to get the save.
Inside the Box Score
– Wilson led the Wolfpack at the plate and was the only player in the game to record three hits to go along with an RBI and a run scored.
– Pitarra also turned in a multi-hit performance, as he doubled twice in the contest and scored a run, while driving in another.
– NC State scored 10 or more runs for the 12thtime this season.
– The Wolfpack is also 29-3 on the year when scoring at least six runs.
On the Mound
– Freshman Evan Justice made his first ACC start of his collegiate career and went 1.2 innings.
– Michael Bienlien turned in a strong relief appearance with three innings pitched, yielding one earned run with three strikeouts.
– Centala inherited a runner on first in the sixth and forced a double play and then a groundout to end the inning.
– Klyman closed out the game, pitching the final three innings and he fanned four batters.
– The Wolfpack pitching staff struck out seven batters and walked just one.
NC State returns to action in its final regular-season series, as the Wolfpack travels to Tallahassee for a matchup with Florida State. First pitch of Thursday and Friday’s games is at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s series finale is set for 1 p.m.